Cervical Screening Awareness Week begins on Monday and runs until 19th June. The week serves as an important reminder for women across the UK and beyond to keep up to date with their smear tests. Did you know that cervical cancer is almost 100% preventable, and 75% of cases can be prevented by screenings? So this Cervical Screening Awareness Week, why not use it as an opportunity to make sure that you’re up to date with your screenings, and encourage your friends and family members to do the same? It’s a simple, quick and lifesaving process, which many women are still reluctant to undergo.

 

Cervical screening in England

Cervical screening is offered to women in England from the age of 25. The screening aims to detect abnormal cells which could lead to cervical cancer, as well as signs of HPV. Women are invited to attend a screening every 3 years, and can make an appointment with their GP to do so. Even those who have had the HPV vaccination should continue to undergo cervical screening.

Unfortunately, of all of the eligible aged 25-49 year olds, the take up rate is only between 70 and 73%. Many women avoid their screenings because they feel uneasy or nervous about the process, which is why campaigns like Cervical Screening Awareness Week are vital to educate women about the realities of the screening process. With statistics suggesting that 100% of cervical cancer cases are preventable (either through HPV vaccine or screening), it’s clear that more needs to be done to save the thousands of women who are diagnosed with cervical cancer each year.

 

About Cervical Screening Awareness Week 2016

This year’s Cervical Screening Awareness Week will take place between the 13th – 19th June. The campaign is led by Jo’s Trust, a trust that was established by James Maxwell, a London businessman whose wife Jo died from cervical cancer when she was 40 years old. At the time she was diagnosed (1995), it was difficult to find information about cervical cancer. The aim of the Trust is to make it easier for women to find the information they need, by providing women with a hub for sharing experiences and accessing education resources on screening, treatment and surviving cervical cancer.

Through Cervical Screening Awareness Week it is hoped that more women will attend their cervical screening appointments, in a bid to reach the 1 in 4 women who do not attend. You can get involved in the campaign in a number of ways, including:

  • Women aged 50 and over who have had cervical cancer are being asked to share their stories in order to raise awareness.
  • Jo’s Trust have posters, leaflets, etc available for people to distribute at university, work, doctor’s surgeries, etc.
  • There are also digital posters and campaign packs available with some suggested social media messaging to help you spread awareness.
  • Jo’s Trust also encourage volunteers who want to raise money through special events, information stands or want to take part in ‘Steps for Jo’s’ 5k or 10k races happening across the UK.

 

Getting more information about cervical screening

Thanks to organisations like Jo’s Trust, there is a wealth of information available about cervical screening. The NHS Choices website also has plenty of information about the process and making an appointment. Do your bit to get involved in Cervical Screening Awareness to help yourself and other women prevent cervical cancer.